Padova University
Padova University
Astronomy Department
Physics & Astronomy Dep.
Asiago Observatory
Padova Observatory
Padova Observatory

Exoplanets & Stellar Populations Group

vicolo Osservatorio 3, 35122 Padova - Italy tel. +39.049.827.8211     fax. +39.049.827.8212

Planetary atmospheres

Nascimbeni et al. (2013) A&A 559, 32

Transiting planets offer the great opportunity to probe their atmospheres. During transit, the planet passes in front of the star, partially blocking the stellar flux F. The amount of this dimming, called "transit depth" d = ΔF/F is a direct measure of the relative size of the planet Rp compared to the size of the star R*, because d = (Rp/R*)2. If the planet has an atmosphere, it is not an opaque disk with a sharp edge. Instead, the opacity will gradually diminish with height as the atmosphere becomes more tenuous. The stellar light that passes through the atmosphere is absorbed by atoms and molecules as a function of wavelength, or Rayleigh-scattered. The "effective" wavelength-depending radius of the planet Rp(λ) is the so-called "transmission spectrum". From it one can detect signatures from atoms/molecules (see Seager & Deming 2010, ARA&A 48, 631 for a review), and scattering by molecular hydrogen or condensate particles (Sing et al. 2011, MNRAS 416, 1443).
Our group is carrying out a survey to characterize the atmospheres of bright transiting exoplanets with both broad-band photometry and intermediate-resolution spectrophotometry in the visible and near infrared region. The involved facilities include world-class 8-10m telescopes such as LBT (Nascimbeni et al. 2013, A&A 559, 32), VLT, and GTC.
For more information about the project please contact Valerio Nascimbeni.

Related papers to TASTE project:
Below you can find the list of known extrasolar planets observed within the project. Click on the exoplanet name to access to the relative data.

GJ3470b LBT Nascimbeni et al. (2013)